If you have a gamer in your life, whether it’s your own kid or a family friend’s child, you likely know how much video gaming is integrated into their lives. But even beyond the meteoric success and outright appeal of video gaming to young people (and even many not-so-young people), gaming now provides tangible benefits to serious players: competitive esports and esports college scholarships.
Parents of college-bound gamers might want to pay attention below, as we discuss college level esports and the burgeoning ecosystem of esports scholarships. And don’t forget that the high-speed fiber internet delivered to smart TVs and gaming devices by Northern Lights Fiber may just give the budding esports scholar in your life the edge he or she needs to own the competition!
Varsity Esports Are Exploding Across Colleges and Universities
Following the 2010s and the exponential growth of video gaming and esports, it’s obvious now that collegiate esports are truly taking off as a legitimate competitive endeavor. This explosive growth is mostly due to advancing internet technology like Northern Lights Fiber’s fiber network and apps that make gaming more social and more competitive, as well as increased talent among players. Indeed today, there are approximately 500 American colleges and universities offering esports scholarships.
At the varsity and college level, schools typically create individual teams of players around particular games. This gives gamers the opportunity to advance and even excel at strategies and tactics suited to the complexities and skill needs of that title, enhancing the competitiveness of each game and of esports more generally.
Beyond enormously popular and well-known titles like Fortnite (played by untold millions of people around the world both casually and competitively), several other titles are most commonly played at varsity level esports in colleges and universities in North America. In particular, Call of Duty, League of Legends, Rocket League, Smash Bros, and Valorant are among the most frequently duked-out games in collegiate esports.
Other games are also increasingly popular, however. Overwatch is noted for its hero customization and intense fighting, requiring stout players and almost preternatural reaction skills to succeed. Additionally, Rainbow Six: Siege and its almost alchemical blend of gaming genres like strategy and tactical shooting has attracted legions of players to the game based around Tom Clancy’s novels. Both games are fielding more varsity teams and are increasingly seen at college level esports tournaments.
Collegiate Esports Give Rise to Generous Scholarship Opportunities
Already, an estimated $16 million in college scholarships exist just for esports players—not a small sum for a sport that barely existed only a decade ago. And as collegiate esports continue to rise, we can expect more schools to establish varsity programs, as well as expand their existing esports teams, too.
All this burgeoning esports growth at the college level means that more scholarships—and even larger dollar amounts—are likely to be dedicated to esports gamers. Hence, for the truly talented and committed gamer, esports should be taken seriously, and gamers should consider taking steps to making themselves more competitive for esports scholarship opportunities.
The Esports Gender Divide
Despite the stunning growth in collegiate varsity esports, we hasten to note an important issue inside the gaming and esports community—the gender divide. Though females make up almost 50% of all video gamers (49% to be precise, according to one 2023 analysis), statistics show that men receive 90% of esports scholarships.
With patently lopsided statistics like that, the divide has not gone unnoticed. Arguments abound for this staggering disparity, but at least one likely reason for the imbalance is that most of the games more typically played by female gamers are less likely to be the games that comprise competitive varsity esports in colleges.
With that in mind, however, savvy female gamers with a keen interest in esports games that are played at the varsity collegiate level may want to be particularly on the lookout for scholarship opportunities that have too frequently landed in the hands of their male counterparts. Their unique backgrounds and talents may help give young women an edge over their compatriots in the coming years—and also help broaden and improve the sport as well.
To stay on top of the ever-changing and always-exciting esports scene, follow Northern Lights Fiber’s social pages. We’re confident that our high-speed fiber internet can improve any gamer’s experience and perhaps even help prepare them for competitive esports and the worlds of opportunity they open!
In Grande Cache, the love for two sports runs deep: hockey and football. As Canadians passionately devoted to these games, we often find ourselves eagerly searching for the best platforms to stream NHL and CFL games. Fortunately, with a reliable high-speed internet provider like Northern Lights Fiber, you can experience seamless 4K viewing and stay connected to the action.
Canadian Hockey: Where to Stream
Ask any diehard fan and they will tell you: hockey is more than just a sport; it’s a way of life. If you’re looking to stream Canadian hockey games, you have several great options:
Sportsnet +: For professional hockey enthusiasts, NHL Live is the go-to platform. Subscribers gain access to all NHL games, including those featuring Canadian teams like the Edmonton Oilers, Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens, and the Vancouver Canucks. With a Sportsnet + subscription, you can stream NHL games aired on Sportsnet. Sportsnet is home to many NHL broadcasts, and this is an excellent choice for keeping up with NHL.
TSN Direct: TSN Direct offers access to games broadcast on The Sports Network (TSN), which includes a variety of Canadian hockey content. You can watch the thrilling matchups involving your favorite teams, such as the Calgary Flames and the Winnipeg Jets.
CBC Gem: The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) provides a free streaming service called CBC Gem. While it doesn’t cover all games, you can watch selected NHL matchups, particularly during the playoffs.
CFL: Where to Stream
Canadian football, with the iconic Canadian Football League (CFL), also has a dedicated fan base. To catch CFL games online, consider these options:
CFL.ca: The official CFL website offers live streaming of games. You can watch CFL action with a subscription or enjoy free games if available.
TSN: TSN broadcasts a significant number of CFL games. You can access these through TSN Direct or the TSN app, ensuring you don’t miss the thrilling matches featuring the Calgary Stampeders, Edmonton Elks, Toronto Argonauts, BC Lions, and other CFL teams.
DAZN (DA-ZONE), a global sports streaming service, has gained popularity in Canada. While it primarily focuses on international sports, it occasionally offers coverage of CFL games.
The Role of Northern Lights Fiber
When it comes to streaming your favorite Canadian sports, a reliable internet connection is essential. This is where Northern Lights Fiber comes into play. With its high-speed fiber internet service, Northern Lights Fiber ensures that you have the bandwidth needed for a seamless viewing experience.
Here’s why Northern Lights Fiber is the ideal choice for sports enthusiasts:
Blazing Fast Speeds: Fiber-optic internet provides unparalleled speeds, allowing you to stream games in high definition without buffering or lag, even during peak usage times.
Stability: Unlike traditional copper-based connections, fiber internet is less susceptible to disruptions from weather or interference, ensuring a stable and uninterrupted viewing experience.
Low Latency: Fiber internet’s low latency ensures real-time responsiveness, which is crucial when you’re watching live sports events and want to engage with fellow fans on social media or online forums.
Multiple Devices: With Northern Lights Fiber, you can connect multiple devices simultaneously without compromising on performance. This means you can stream games on your smart TV, laptop, tablet, or smartphone all at once.
To fully immerse yourself in the excitement of Canadian hockey and football, a strong, reliable internet connection is a must. Northern Lights Fiber ensures that you won’t miss a second of the action, making it the perfect complement to your sports streaming experience.
In Canada, our passion for hockey and football knows no bounds. Thanks to streaming services and reliable internet from Northern Lights Fiber, we can indulge in the thrill of the games from the comfort of our homes, cheering for our favorite teams as they chase glory on the ice and the gridiron.
Just about any of our customers who have already made the switch from older forms of internet (like cable) to fiber broadband will tell you that fiber’s advanced technology is vastly superior to anything else they’ve used.
From downloading files at near-lightspeed, to voluminous amounts of available bandwidth for handling multiple applications simultaneously, to more reliable material components that provide pristine streaming TV and movie experiences, fiber is simply heads-and-shoulders above cable, DSL, and satellite internet.
But those are just technical specs—and that doesn’t tell even half the story! Fiber internet, like the kind delivered by Northern Lights Fiber can genuinely enhance your quality of life in a myriad of ways, including the following eight use cases we’re proud to support.
1. Telehealth Expedites Critical Health Interventions
We begin with everyone’s top priority—keeping their family healthy. And the internet now plays a significant role in delivering healthcare to millions. Telehealth, which allows physicians and other medical professionals to provide initial consultations (and other healthcare) from a patient’s home, has expanded massively in recent years.
Telehealth helps doctors and patients assess when more urgent in-person care is needed (and when it’s not). Prescriptions can get filled faster with telehealth, and consultations over the internet can even assist in properly applying first aid to injuries.
Telehealth consultations can be performed quickly and reliably thanks to fiber’s bounty of bandwidth, which lets audio and video data transfer between doctor and patient seamlessly. Many doctors won’t make a diagnosis when a poor internet connection causes choppy video calls, but that’s not a problem when the patient has fiber!
2. Remote Work Improves Convenience and Productivity
While remote work isn’t for everyone, it can be life-changing for caregivers who need a little more flexibility. Plus, while avoiding the hassles of commutes and traffic delays, remote workers also save money on gasoline and reduce their carbon footprint.
While many workers and employers decide to go fully remote, even partial remote work flexibility can be a blessing. But it takes a particularly robust internet connection to facilitate remote work (especially video conferencing), which isn’t always supported by inferior connections like satellite.
Fiber’s symmetrical downloads and uploads let workers send and receive large files and transmit data during long meetings and conferences, making a remote staff member genuinely feel part of the team!
3. Distance Education Allows Students to Gain Skills and Get Ahead
Access to higher education is more attainable than ever, thanks to the multitude of online distance learning opportunities available through colleges and universities around the country.
From undergraduate and graduate degrees to technical certifications, the internet puts education within reach for many who thought it was impossible or beyond their means, while helping them achieve the skills necessary to meet their career goals.
Fiber internet’s enormous bandwidth facilitates reliable distance learning and even genuine classroom experiences. It allows students and professors to share large files like presentations or lectures in real-time and enables video conferencing to foster learning and growth, including one-on-one student-faculty interactions—all without sweating frequent distortions or outages that frustrate students on older internet technologies.
4. Lifelong Learning Keeps the Mind Active and Engaged
Beyond bringing official degree and certificate programs to students, fiber internet also facilitates a less formal but still highly valued form of education: lifelong learning. Lifelong learning provides opportunities for the curious to understand their world—and even the universe—well after college ends.
Several companies and major universities, such as Wondrium (formerly The Great Courses), edX, Harvard, and Yale have developed extensive online course offerings. You can find classes from prestigious professors spanning topics like ancient Greek history, Renaissance art, classical music, modern astronomy, and more.
And many courses are available free of charge! Through fiber’s near-lightspeed downloading, these courses can be streamed and enjoyed right from your home.
5. Virtual Reality Lets You Explore the World from Home
Fiber’s hefty bandwidth and vigorous download speeds also brings the wonder of Virtual Reality to your home—and with it, the travel experiences many have only dreamed about! Unlike traditional forms of entertainment, VR’s wonderous technology envelopes a user in multiple dimensions of visual and sound effects.
VR—through fiber internet—makes viewers literally feel like they’re wherever VR is showing them, whether it’s a tour of the Grand Canyon or an Amazon rainforest, an astronaut’s view from outer space, or a sonorous symphony hall.
Fiber’s speed and bandwidth combined with VR technology allows you to explore Paris’ Louvre Museum one day, and the Colosseum in Rome the next without ever leaving your living room!
6. Smart Homes Save Energy, Time, and Money
Fiber internet and its spectacular speeds and enormous bandwidth capacities make it possible to power a genuine smart home—a place brimming with tech and devices to cut energy usage and costs and make life better and more efficient.
From smart refrigerators that let you know when it’s time to get a new gallon of milk, to smart lighting that cuts off when you leave home, to smart speakers playing music (or soundscapes) throughout every room, smart home technology can turn your dwelling into the home of your dreams.
Remember that fiber can keep these devices and smart home features running smoothly, while still letting you stream TV and movies, upload videos, and enjoy everything else about your internet. Unlike other forms of internet, with fiber, you’re not forced to choose which online activity to sacrifice at any given time!
7. Smart Home Security Makes for Safer Homes and Neighborhoods
One smart home feature everyone should take advantage of is improved real-time safety and security delivered by smart lighting, smart cameras, smart doorbells and related tech. Fiber-powered devices can monitor your home for security threats at all times, whether you’re tucked in your own bed upstairs or thousands of miles away on vacation.
Additionally, outdoor smart lighting and doorbell systems help make your neighborhood safer too, deterring “porch pirates” and other crime. Fiber has the power to keep these crucial smart home safety and security systems running strong while still allowing you to stay productive and engaged in other online activities simultaneously.
8. Video Calling Keeps You Connected Face-to-Face
Lastly, fiber’s impressive speeds and incredible bandwidth make video calling crystal clear and convenient. Grandparents can easily have face-to-face conversations with their grandchildren, and both sides of the call can see faces as well as hear voices.
Video calling is simply a much more intimate way to stay in touch than by phoning or emailing. And fiber enables this improved communication without the distortions and interruptions that plague other types of internet.
The eight examples above are just a small sample of the way fiber internet’s innovative technology enhances your life. From practical matters like health, work, and security, to broadening your worldview and sharing knowledge and world cultures, fiber can improve your well-being, inspire your mind, and uplift you.
To learn additional ways that Northern Lights Fiber’s service can make a real difference in your life, follow our social pages!
Small businesses and their leaders have way too much going on to spend time tracking down invoices or waiting for the bank to process payments. Fortunately, advanced internet-based payment systems have substantially cut down paperwork processing, as well as the time it takes to receive funds.
Below we highlight six of the best online e-commerce and in-person payment options available for small businesses today. When connected to Northern Lights Fiber’s fiber network, your small business can use the technology it needs to grow and thrive—and you can get back to doing the actual work of your business instead of worrying about receiving payment for your efforts!
We start our list with Square, an overwhelmingly popular payment service that continues to attract new vendors and customers alike.
Square is an excellent fit for businesses that are mobile or whose clients often pay on-the-go rather than in a brick-and-mortar business establishment. At the same time, Square’s in-person point-of-sale options are still well-respected and its software and app are noted for their ease of use.
Stripe is a sophisticated online payment processing app with versatile features many savvy small business owners love. Highly customizable with numerous options to aid in bookkeeping, databasing, and generating revenue reports, Stripe excels well beyond basic payment processing.
Its software fully integrates payments and invoicing as well as other essential business needs, including tracking accounts receivable and processing refunds. Given these extra features, however, there is a steeper learning curve for Stripe than with other simpler payment processing options on our list.
Perhaps the most well-known payment service on our list, PayPal has been a part of e-commerce culture since 1998 and is particularly useful for vendors that prefer sending and receiving online invoices.
Its near-universal name recognition also means customers know and trust it. However, compared to other options on our list, PayPal is relatively sparse in terms of features and versatility, and does not offer businesses as much in the way of in-person transactions as other services.
Like PayPal, Shopify is another familiar name in online shopping. Shopify’s ecommerce ecosystem encompasses vendors both large and small, offering a significant advantage to many online retailers.
That advantage comes with a cost, however, as Shopify charges a monthly fee in addition to per transaction fees, which can be a drawback to many small businesses. Still, its seamless and simple interface and many features have drawn many happy small businesses to Shopify.
Next up is Clover, an exceptional in-person payment processing program with many online features as well. Industry experts are impressed by Clover’s vast library of fully-integrated third-party apps that do much more than just accept payments.
With Clover, small businesses can get accounting, tax, databasing, marketing, and other critical business features all in one place, making it a solid value. Clover’s pricing is notable for its flat rates, but be sure to check out the differences between plans, which can vary based on sales volume and other factors.
Our last recommended option is Lightspeed, one of the leading cloud-based in-person and retail-oriented point-of-sale payment services in the industry. Popular both for its simplicity and competitive pricing, it also offers a range of features from simple retail purchasing to online shopping and e-commerce.
For businesses with extensive inventory to track, Lightspeed’s acclaimed inventory management systems are a huge timesaver, even helping you reorder when stock gets low.
Fiber’s Speed and Power Lets You Process Payments and Run Your Business Simultaneously!
Now that you’ve checked out the above six payment options, small businesses should remember that to be truly productive and efficient, they also need the fastest, most reliable internet they can get. After all, the systems above, along with all their many benefits, are only as effective as the quality and speed of the internet that delivers them. And fiber internet is quite simply the best internet a small business can get today.
Contact Northern Lights Fiber today to get the speed you need to power your business. And for more helpful hints to keep your small business productive and efficient, follow our social pages!
At Northern Lights Fiber, we’re proud to be known around Grande Cache as the best internet provider for residents and businesses. But did you know that we also support a third group with our high-speed fiber internet network? Today, we’re taking a moment to celebrate local community anchor institutions.
Read on to learn more about this important group—and how, as a local company ourselves, Northern Lights Fiber is committed to keeping them connected.
What Are Community Anchor Institutions?
Anchor institutions are mission-based, publicly-oriented organizations that provide services essential to our area’s economy, health, safety, culture, and general well-being.
Anchor institutions include hospitals and other medical facilities, emergency services like fire and police, universities and other institutions of higher education, and public services like libraries.
These institutions all play a critical role in our society, and they all depend on reliable access to the internet to function effectively in the 21st century economy.
Hospitals and Medical Clinics
Universally appreciated by everyone fortunate enough to have one close by, a hospital is an anchor institution that many of us depend on in the starkest moments of our lives. Whether they’re treating chronic illnesses or responding to life-threatening injuries, hospitals and other medical clinics provide critical services every day.
And in a true health emergency, every second counts. Rapid access to medical records, keen and swift analysis of radiological and similar medical imagery, and urgent consultations among experts—these are often matters of life and death. Thus, perhaps more than anywhere else, having internet as reliable and fast as fiber in our community hospitals and health clinics is most critical.
Beyond the immediate health needs of patients and the broader community, hospitals and medical clinics regularly communicate with both patients and other health professionals. Maintaining a solid internet connection to transmit medical files and even hold telehealth follow-up visits is crucial to the missions of hospitals and medical centers.
Fiber’s bandwidth capacity is substantially larger than other types of internet and can make indispensable communication and data transfers quick and seamless, helping health providers fulfill their calling—and keep our communities healthier and safer at the same time.
Fire, Police, and Other Emergency Services
Local first responders–the good people of our fire stations, paramedics, and police departments–are our community’s heroes, often putting their own lives at risk to help others. And they are regularly on call at every minute of every hour of the day.
Without the brave and resourceful men and women in fire, police and other emergency services, our community would be far less safe. Thus, it goes without saying that our first responders are anchor institutions in our area, and everyone is grateful for their service.
Reliable communications and connectivity is an absolute necessity for these essential services. Fiber internet keeps emergency service providers informed about hazards, real-time traffic information, hazardous weather and natural disasters, and other problems our community faces. And fiber keeps fire, police, and paramedics connected to everyone in our community–including to hospitals and emergency rooms–providing an instant connection when and where help is needed most.
Local Schools and Educational Facilities
The quintessential anchor institution in Canada is the educational facility or school. Centers of learning employ talented and skilled individuals in many fields who educate children and young adults and provide them with skills and knowledge for success.
But local schools and educational facilities do far more than just teach students. They also serve as learning, cultural, artistic, and athletic centers for our entire community, greatly enriching our lives with special events, art exhibits, dramatic performances, musical concerts, and sports.
And given the beehive of online activity generated at centers of learning, a steady and fast internet connection is a veritable requirement for 21st century education.
The broader community, which often has access to a school’s sporting events, fine arts exhibitions, and even certain library materials also benefits from fiber’s high speeds and greater bandwidth, multiplying the benefits to our region even more.
Libraries and Museums
Often overlooked, but nonetheless invaluable, public libraries and museums of all kinds provide educational, artistic, and cultural opportunities offered almost nowhere else. They bring together resourceful, knowledgeable experts and support staff that create experiences that both inform and inspire.
Groups as diverse as toddlers, school children, book clubs, tourists, and seniors are enriched by the facilities and programs libraries and museums provide. Without fiber internet, however, neither of these anchor institutions can fulfill their unique niche in our community, including facilitating beloved programs like story hour, reading clinics, film nights, visiting exhibitions, club meetings, and guest experts.
And the community can often access many of these features—including e-books and other electronic materials—from home through remote and online access. Thus, fiber keeps each of us better connected to our area’s libraries, museums, and related curated institutions and their bevy of information and collections that set them apart.
Fiber Internet Keeps Our Anchor Institutions Well-Connected to Our Community—and to You
As much as our community depends on anchor institutions to improve our daily lives and make our region a better place to live, anchor institutions in turn rely on dependable and fast internet to get their jobs done. And they also look to the local team of experts and technicians that keep Northern Lights Fiber’s fiber network running strong and efficiently—and with the local knowledge and care to respond fast and effectively to any technical issue that may arise.
Indeed, the team at Northern Lights Fiber are more than just internet service professionals. We’re also your neighbors. Like you, we live and work in our community, which means we rely on and appreciate the work of our community’s anchor institutions.
As a local company ourselves, we’re highly committed to responding swiftly to emergencies like outages, which in turn lets the good people at our local anchor institutions do their jobs serving our community and keeping it healthy as well.
When you choose Northern Lights Fiber for your residential or business internet, you support our business—enabling us to turn around and support our community. Thank you for shopping locally for your internet. We’re proud to keep Grande Cache connected!
Xpay.com, Tesla Inc., and SpaceX are just a few of Musk’s brainchildren, and the latter was founded in 2002 with the mind-boggling goal to colonize space. No matter how you may feel about him, you’ve certainly got to hand it to Musk: when it comes to ideas, the sky truly is the limit! This brings us to the matter at hand: In 2019, SpaceX announced its latest projects, one of which was Starlink. But what exactly is Starlink? And is it really everything it’s cracked up to be?
What Is Starlink?
Satellite internet technology has been around for decades. Internet connectivity is transmitted by radio waves emitted by satellites orbiting thousands of miles above the Earth’s atmosphere. Those radio waves are received by ground stations and then sent right into your home. Plenty of people already use satellites to connect their homes to the internet.
For example, one of the leading satellite internet providers, HughesNet, has satellites that sit 22,000 miles above the Earth. Starlink is also a satellite internet service, but the company is utilizing low-orbiting satellites that operate only 300 miles above the surface. This translates to improved internet speeds and reduced latency when compared to other satellite providers. Moreover, SpaceX plans to continue the launch of these satellites in the coming years. There will be as many as 40,000 new satellites arranged in what the corporation refers to as a ‘constellation.’
Satellite Internet Challenges
Getting Starlink in your home starts with a hefty investment right off the bat. The initial $760 fee gets you the satellite dish and the Wi-Fi router, and you can expect to pay $140 per month for internet services. That’ll get you 1TB of usage during the day, with overage fees of $0.32/GB (About $30 to download a newer game, or $5 to stream a movie!) Compare that to Canadian Fiber Optics $89.99 for a symmetrical 100Mbps, with unlimited usage, with options for free installation!
There also comes the obstacles of maintenance. We monitor our network consistently and have prepared our techs to be able to react to, and fix a large scale issue should it occur within only a few hours. If a satellite goes down leaving you in the dark with no network, it takes a little bit longer to get into orbit for repairs.
Choose Reliability and Scalability with Fiber
These days, reliable internet is more important than ever, especially for those living in rural areas. It helps keep us connected, employed, and entertained. Interrupted connectivity—even a short one—can make a world of difference for those who depend on it. Fiber is a buried infrastructure, meaning the weather won’t take away your reception, and it’s built to last. We’ve designed our network to work consistently, and scale with your communities’ needs. Our services currently scale to 10,000Mbps (that’s almost 1,000x faster than what many residents get today!) and is built to grow beyond that without extensive work and repairs.
While Starlink will be a welcome option for customers who only have traditional satellite internet—or none at all—it simply can’t compare to the reliability, functionality, and future proofing of your community that a fiber network does.
For guaranteed fast, reliable, and affordable internet services, fiber from Canadian Fiber Optics and Northern Lights Fiber is the way to go.
So you’ve made the right choice, switched to Northern Lights Fiber’s high-speed fiber internet, and already experiencing faster downloads and improved reliability while you’re online.
You may be wondering about some of the best ways to enjoy your new fiber internet connection.
Well, there are several things you can do to make the most of Northern Lights Fiber’s fiber service and improve life in your home. Faster, more reliable internet opens doors to great entertainment, more efficiency, and even cost savings.
From getting rid of cable TV and enjoying streaming entertainment to living more efficiently through smart technology and staying better connected to loved ones, fiber internet provides a new world of convenience and amenities right in your home.
Below we discuss some ideas and suggestions to make your new fiber internet work for you!
Cancel Cable and Cut the Cord
Now that you’ve switched to fiber internet, you no longer need cable—or any additional devices, wiring, and clutter that takes up valuable space in your home. And you certainly don’t need its extra bills, either. So you can now cancel cable for good!
And we’re not just talking about canceling cable internet service, but cable television service, too. Many streaming services are available for watching your favorite shows and movies online, even live news and sports. And with fiber’s quality and dependability, you can enjoy streaming them as you did with cable TV.
Sign up for Streaming Services
Since your internet connection through fiber-optic technology is faster, more consistent, and more reliable than ever, it’s time to take advantage of streaming services and outstanding entertainment available to you.
Hulu keeps you up-to-date on your favorite shows, both current and classic, while Disney+ streams old Disney films and new entertainment hits.
You’ll be hard-pressed to exhaust the number of movies and TV shows available to stream today.
You can select one of many live TV streaming apps available, too.
With a live TV streaming service like YouTube TV, FUBU, or Sling TV, you can watch live television programs, real-time breaking news and analysis, and live sports and games.
Stream Music Anywhere in Your Home
Streaming entertainment includes more than just movies, TV shows and live sports.
Today’s technology lets you fill your home with music through streaming music apps such as Spotify, Amazon Music, or Apple Music. These apps let you create playlists of all kinds. Mix your personal “greatest hits list” from a particular artist, or select a playlist from a specific music genre, whether yours is rock, classical music, country, or all of the above!
These apps can also introduce you to new artists and songs you may have never heard. They also create lists of music the app “thinks” you may enjoy based on your prior selections and preferences. And you can ask these apps to shuffle songs from your favorite bands to listen to while you multitask!
Use Smart Devices and Set up a Smart Home
You’ve made the smart choice to switch to fiber internet—so why not use more smart devices?
“Smart devices,” even inexpensive gadgets like Amazon’s Echo Dot with Alexa, can really make your home more pleasant than before. For example, when you pair your Echo Dot to your Spotify account, you can say, “Alexa, play songs from The Eagles.” Before you know it, you’ll be living it up at the Hotel California!
But don’t stop with these smart devices!
You can make your entire home a “smart home” and far more efficient. For example, smart thermometers can monitor air temperature and even humidity in different rooms in your house.
They can also adjust their temperature based on times of the day and other conditions, saving you around 30% off of your energy bills, according to the EPA!
Also, consider smart lighting devices, which do more than save you money—they can also make your home’s atmosphere more appealing.
Use Video Conferencing Apps to Talk to Friends and Family
Having a phone conversation can be rewarding, but it cannot beat the joy of seeing a loved one’s face and smile.
With faster internet through fiber technology, you can experience more than just a person’s voice through conversation. Using apps like Zoom or FaceTime can make you feel like you’re in the same room with your friends and family. You can stay in touch and remain better connected no matter how far apart you may be.
The above suggestions and recommendations are just some of the many ways fiber internet makes life more convenient and fun. So try them out and keep exploring!
And for more helpful tips about how Northern Lights Fiber’s high-speed fiber internet can make your home more livable, follow our social pages or visit our website HERE!
The summer television viewing season isn’t what it used to be.
Once known for endless reruns and launches of shows that studios deemed less likely to be successful, the world of streaming entertainment and the production houses it created are churning out phenomenal content you’ve just got to see. The trouble is, lots of other people want to watch it too! And quite often, they’re streaming at the same time as you. And with kids out of school for the summer and many people heading indoors to escape the heat, internet usage increases during the dog days of summer. Unfortunately, along with the increased demand, streaming picture quality and overall reliability often decline, frequently turning what should be a relaxing evening into a frustrating experience.
So what can you do to prepare for all of this increased demand? Or maybe you’re worried about the amount of time your kids are on the screen? Or are you doomed to suffer repeated buffering, pixelation, and loading errors during the summer slowdown?
Tip #1: Upgrade to Fiber Internet
The single best thing you can do to improve your internet speed and connection is to upgrade to fiber internet. A technological wonder, fiber internet utilizes fiber-optic cables composed of ultra-thin, tiny strands of glass and other materials that transmit internet data near the speed of light.
As a result, fiber internet’s speeds exceed cable internet, which uses older technology and copper-based materials that cannot compete with fiber’s highest speeds.
Getting a dedicated fiber internet line through Northern Lights Fiber directly to your home means you no longer have to share bandwidth with your neighbors.
Since many in your community are already customers of ours, you may need to move to Tip#2.
Tip #2: Select the Bandwidth to Meet Your Family’s Needs
Once you’ve upgraded to fiber, talk to customer service at Northern Lights about which level of broadband you need. This will vary from household to household, we can help you determine what will provide the proper amount of bandwidth. If you have multiple people in your home, work from home during the summer, or want to use technology to the max (i.e. security cameras), be sure to choose a plan that offers enough bandwidth for the whole family to use it simultaneously. This tip will help keep the high-speed internet flowing into your home and devices and help keep the peace in your family!
Tip #3: Use the Northern WiFi App
Now that you have a perfect fiber internet plan for your needs, you should consider using our Northern WiFi App. This is the free App that many of you already have. In a few simple clicks, you can easily:
• Reset your password or SSID • Run bandwidth tests • Approve connected devices to use the internet • Create guest networks (so your in-laws don’t use all your internet)!
Tip #4: Sign Up for our ExperienceIQ and ProtectIQ add-ons
The ProtectIQ and ExperienceIQ functions are not only affordable, but it will give you peace of mind on how the internet is used in your home. We want to deliver the best and safest experience possible!
ProtectIQ is an anti-virus and anti-malware software that is embedded in the WiFi router. This means that every device connected to your network is protected, giving you peace of mind. With protect IQ, you’ll receive
• Malicious website protection, anti-virus and anti-ransomeware packet inspection, and intrusion detection • Monitoring that automatically blocks anything that looks suspicious coming into your home • A dashboard that demonstrates how this service is working in your home
Our ExperienceIQ add on allows you to manage screen time in your home, right down to the individual device. You can even filter out YouTube content, ensuring that individual family members watch age appropriate content Keep in mind that this is much more than limiting or even policing content your kids may use. Parental controls let you prevent your children from using online devices during certain times of day or night, which both reduce their screen time (something all parents aim to do) and increases the amount of bandwidth for you to enjoy!
Many of our Northern Lights Fiber customers have already signed up for ExperienceIQ. So if you want a tutorial on how to use it, please contact us!
By implementing these tips, you can significantly improve the picture quality and reliability of your streaming experience, even with the increased internet demand and higher usage of the summer. So sit back, relax, and enjoy a summer of streaming!
And for more helpful tips on improving your internet experience, Northern Lights Fiber’s social pages!
At Northern Lights Fiber our team of technicians, installers, and customer support professionals take pride in delivering the state of the art high-speed fiber internet you’ve come to expect. From responding to weather-related outages, to upgrading our cutting-edge systems, keeping you connected to the global economy and communications network is a 24/7 job—and we love being a part of it!
But you may have wondered why we occasionally schedules outages for our network. After all, isn’t the point of reliable internet to avoid outages in the first place? Well, yes, that is one of the main points, of course!
But an occasional scheduled outage is a crucial part of maintaining our fast, reliable network, and ensuring that your internet service is up to the highest industry standards. We explain more below.
The Importance of Scheduled Outages
First and foremost, scheduled outages are rare and, when they do happen, it’s because they are necessary. And scheduled outages are always implemented to improve your internet experience, protect your connection, or respond to an emergency situation.
It might be helpful to think about scheduled outages the same way you think about car maintenance. If you don’t take your car to the shop on occasion, it’s going to break down at the worst possible time—like in pouring down rain and you’re already running late for work! Though you can’t drive it while you let your mechanic service your car for a short period of time, the mechanic’s work is invaluable, increasing the performance of your car and extending its life and value.
Well, for high-speed fiber internet, scheduled outages are like taking your car into the shop. Yes, you will temporarily “lose service,” but gain tremendously long-term with a better, faster, more reliable internet connection.
Three Common Reasons for Scheduled Outages
There are three primary reasons why a schedule outage may occur: 1) network software updates, 2) broadband equipment and infrastructure upgrades, and 3) environmental and weather-related repair or mitigation work.
Software Updates: Broadband technology is constantly improving, and the complex software involved helps deliver and distribute internet efficiently across the network. To ensure there’s enough bandwidth for everyone—and that the technology doesn’t go haywire and stop working altogether—software engineers routinely tweak their programming to make the system even better. It’s fairly similar to your cell phone—occasionally, you need software updates to enhance quality and security, and you must restart the phone after the software is installed. Though you lose cell phone service for a period of time, your phone is much more secure and improved because of the planned maintenance and “outage.”
Equipment Upgrades: The infrastructure utilized to provide high-speed fiber internet is immense. Far more than just a “wire” connected to your house, an entire labyrinth of interconnected equipment dispersed throughout our community delivers broadband. We occasionally update our core routers or replace outdated hardware with new equipment, ensuring that our network is up-to-date. Naturally, a scheduled outage is necessary to install the upgraded equipment and improve your internet service.
Environmental and Weather-related Repair: Despite our best efforts to maintain a reliable network, sometimes Mother Nature intervenes—and we have seen it all! Heavy precipitation can inundate systems, unearthing fiber wires and shorting core routers. Animals sometimes chew through fiber lines, slowing down or cutting off your service entirely. Even an occasional car crash can damage our equipment and cause service interruptions. When these unfortunate incidents happen, we may need to physically relocate some infrastructure, resulting in a temporary scheduled outage, while developing a longer-term solution to mitigate against future hazards.
Typical Timing for Scheduled Outages
We understand that there is never a good time to not have internet. After all, we depend on high-speed internet for work, communication, and entertainment as much as you do! But with that in mind, Northern Lights Fiber only ever conducts planned maintenance and scheduled outages late at night, when overall internet usage is at its lowest level in our community.
Late night is when the fewest number of people are relying on our network for work and communication. But we also recognize that there are some people who do work late at night or take occasional night shifts. And we know that some people rely on their connection to relax and unwind at night, too, whether it’s streaming a favorite TV series, listening to music, or gaming
Please know that when we schedule these outages, we are limiting the inconvenience to the fewest number of people as possible. Just as highway repair work is often done at night, when traffic is at its lowest point, scheduled outages occur when internet traffic is at its lowest, too.
After the Scheduled Outage
Once the scheduled outage and planned maintenance is complete, you shouldn’t notice any difference to your service the next day. On the off chance you experience any difficulties accessing your internet, make sure your devices’ connections and settings remained as they were prior to the scheduled outage. Your device may require you to sign-in to your Wi-Fi after an outage, but this is rare. Of course, if you have any issues whatsoever, our customer service agents and technical support specialists are always standing by to help you.
To learn more about our fiber network and how you can get the most out of our high-speed internet, be sure to follow our Facebook by clicking Here
Northern Lights Fiber is committed to providing the safest browsing and connectivity possible. We achieve this through our ProtectIQ software in the Northern Wifi App. ProtectIQ is a network-level security service which protects ALL devices connected to your Wi-Fi. If it’s connected, it’s protected!
What does ProtectIQ do to keep my home network safe?
Proactively monitors your home’s incoming traffic and automatically blocks anything suspicious.
Blocks attempted visits to known harmful websites, presenting users with a browser message indicating that the website is not available.
Provide an active security monitoring service that uses a large and constantly growing database of threats (database is updated weekly).
Uses IPS to monitor, notify, and prevent activity like hacking. It will stop a device from trying to gain access to technology like Wi-Fi connected doorbells or baby monitors, virtual meetings, and streams.
Actively terminates data transfers before a malicious payload is delivered to any network device.
Notifies users whenever security is triggered, with details about the device that was attacked, where the attack came from, and when the attack occurred.
Northern Lights Fiber is commited to providing its customers with the safest, fastest and most reliable connections possible. ProtectIQ is just one more way that we strive to provide a world class experience to our customers. By providing ProtectIQ as a service we ensure safety and security for everyone using their in-home network. Sign up with Northern lights Fiber now and download the Northern WiFi App so you can enjoy premium, managed WiFi today!
ExperienceIQ is a service that protects children or grandchildren from harmful or inappropriate content, limits screen time on devices or applications, and displays online usage through our enhanced parental control app.
How is this going to benefit my family?
Block inappropriate categories like pornography or violence
Block applications that you deem inappropriate (e.g. gaming applications like Call of Duty, or social applications like Snapchat
Set time limits for specific applications, like TikTok to cap screen time
Set Safe Search and YouTube Restriction to block harmful or inappropriate content with searching on Google, Bind or YouTube. YouTube restrictions also blocks all comments on videos which often include inappropriate language.
View usage for all devices to better understand HOW the internet is being used in your home.
Prioritize application groups or specific devices to ensure the best possible experiences for your most important needs.
Set schedules so that work applications get priority during the day, and streaming applications get priority in the evening.
Northern WiFi is an app that allows you to have absolute control over your homes network, commonly referred to as managed WiFi. With the Northern WiFi app you have a vast array of controls, personalizations and safety measures to customize your network to work best for how you like to connect.
Change or reset your Wi-Fi network name or password directly from the app
See the devices currently using your Wi-Fi
Categorize your devices (e.g. personal devices, work devices, mobile devices, gaming devices.) Pause the internet for any device, at any time.
Run a speed test (GigaSpire only) to verify the speed you are getting is the speed you are paying for.
Receive updates about any planned network maintenance, or upcoming community events
Create routines for scheduled downtime (i.e. bedtime or limited access to gaming devices during school time).
Create a temporary or shareable guest network without sharing your main network name and password. Great for house gussets, visitors, babysitters, house sitters, or pet sitters. Text the guest network login information directly from the app.
Head to your app store and download “Northern WiFi” now to enhance your WiFi experience!
We believe everyone deserves access to fast, reliable internet, no matter where they live. Northern Lights Fiber is our way of providing exactly that. Under the Northern Lights Fiber brand, we build, operate, and service high-speed fiber networks in rural Canadian communities.
Introducing Peak Performance Physiotherapy
Conveniently located within Grande Cache Massage and Chiropractic Clinic. We know how hard it is to wait for treatment when you’re in pain, so we aim to keep wait times to a minimum. We know Grande Cache is home to many shift workers, so we offer flexible appointment times to fit your schedule. We are a contracted WCB Alberta physiotherapy provider.
“We have had Northern Lights Fiber internet at Grande Cache Massage and Physiotherapy Clinic since beta testing started in January. For me in my daily work activities, the difference has been night and day. Before we switched to fiber, it was a regular occurrence to lose our internet connection altogether, or have such slow connectivity that it could be a 15 minute wait for a document to upload to email. I have had zero connectivity or speed issues since the switch. And the real proof- I’ve had both my kids at work with me streaming Netflix while I’m using my laptop and there are zero interruptions. I can’t do that at my house where I pay top dollar for the competition’s best offering, the Hub. I am so looking forward to having fiber in my home so we can watch a movie on a Friday night without constant buffering!”
What’s the difference between the Internet & Wi-Fi?
The Internet is connected networks all over the world., while Wi-Fi is your personal wireless network within your home. Sometimes, your WiFi signal can be weak – which is why WiFi6 technology come with ALL our packages. And if the WiFi signal is still struggling to get to the important areas of your household, then we offer WiFi Mesh!
Why can’t I get a good signal in my bedroom?
Think about it like a speaker, the further you get away, the softer the sound is. Your Wi-Fi works the same way. The further away you get, the weaker the signal. If there are things like metal, concrete, thick walls, and mirrors, between you and the router these can weaken the signal even more.
Will my Internet speed tests slower when I’m on Wi-Fi?
The further you get away from the WiFI Router (i.e. lower bars), the slower the speed will test. But with the latest in WiFi6 technology that we offer, our signal is not only better – but it tests out at MUCH FASTER SPEEDS. So with proper placement, we know there will be no problems.
Please remember that all our internet packages come with a FREE WiFi router – if you sign up for a 2-year contract!
How can I get a better signal in my bedroom (or other places, like my patio)?
The placement of your router or gateway determines where the Wi-Fi signals are strongest in your home, or outside your home. Our technicians will find the most logical place for your WiFi Router. The more centrally located, the more of your home it will reach. However, if your router or gateway is in a location where it can’t be moved you can add extenders to push the signal further into other areas of your home.
What if I still can’t get a signal everywhere?
With our WiFi MESH/EXTENDER solution, we can easily add a mesh extender to make sure all areas of your home is covered. Our WiFi Mesh is only $15.00 more a month! Some homes are just too big for a normal router signal and will need the mesh device to get signal to all areas.
Most of us understand the basics of the internet – just enough to log onto Wi-Fi and maybe turn the router on and off when it starts to malfunction.
However, are you familiar with the terms ‘bandwidth’ and ‘latency’? If you’re not, that’s okay – you’re not alone! Both terms are related to your internet’s ability to send and receive data, but despite their similarities, they refer to two very different concepts. So what’s the difference between them, and why should they matter to you?
Bandwidth is a word that is thrown around a lot when discussing internet function. Many people assume it just means ‘internet speed,’ but that’s not exactly true. Bandwidth is essentially how much data can move from network point A to point B in a given amount of time.
Think of your bandwidth as a high-speed motorway with, say, three lanes. When an average number of cars are on the highway, everything is going smoothly, and the cars are moving at a good clip. But when it’s rush hour—that is, you’re trying to download something with more data than your bandwidth can handle—the highway gets congested. The traffic bottlenecks then slows to a crawl.
On the other hand, latency refers to the amount of time it takes for the signal to get from point A to point B and then travel back again. The lower the latency, the better your internet will be because it means there’s less time between when you take your action and when you see the result.
For instance, think about when you do a Google search. You enter your query into the taskbar, click ‘enter,’ and then you wait. If you have low latency, the search engine will return your answer within milliseconds. But if you have higher latency, you might end up waiting a few seconds – or even longer – while the internet retrieves your data. The ‘ping’ you sent is traveling, and you have to wait until it reaches the server, collects what you need, and makes its way back to you.
How Bandwidth and Latency Affect You
Both bandwidth and latency can affect the speed of your internet but in different ways. If you’re a gamer, you’re likely already familiar with ‘lag,’ which is when you perform an action, but it takes a few moments for that entry to manifest in the game. This is a latency issue, as most of the assets you need to game are already loaded onto your computer, and therefore very little bandwidth is needed. Conversely, if you’re trying to stream a show online, but it keeps buffering or appears infuriatingly grainy and broken, that’s likely an example of low bandwidth. All that content has to squeeze its way down the digital superhighway. Unfortunately, both bandwidth and latency issues can be a result of subpar high-speed internet. If you want the best internet experience available, you’ll want to invest in a good fiber connection from Canadian Fiber Optics and Northern Lights Fiber today!
When it comes to the dependability and speed of the internet service in your home, a lot depends on your WiFi router―specifically its location in the house.
At PRTC, we’ve already got you covered with the area’s fastest and most reliable internet service. Now here are a few tips on getting the most from that service throughout your home.
Make Sure You Have Enough Coverage: If your home is less than 1,500 square feet, one router should provide enough coverage for your whole house. However, if your house is larger, you may want to look into creating a mesh network. A mesh network is a series of access points that communicate with each other to blanket your home with the WiFi signal. They optimize the speed of your connection and reduce “dead zones.”
Consider Where You Spend the Most Time Connected: If you have key locations in your home where you spend the majority of your time online, such as a home office or family room, take that into consideration when placing your router.
Look for a High and Uncrowded Space: Placing your router on a high shelf will help distribute the signal more widely and evenly through the house. It’s also best to avoid placing the router behind any large objects or closed up in a cabinet.
Give the Signal a Clear Path: While the WiFi signal can do a pretty good job getting through the walls and ceilings in your house, the one thing that can stop it cold is metal, including shelving, metal desks, and large appliances.
For more information about router placement, or to order the fastest Internet in town, call 888-236-2947!
Not all internet options are created equal. All it takes is one missed virtual meeting or one lagging video game to realize that your current internet speeds may not be sufficient. If you aren’t happy with your current speeds, you may want to look into other options. But which service is best for you? Let’s explore the speed, reliability, and bandwidth of the three major service delivery options—landline telephone line (DSL), cable TV line (cable), and fiber-optic line (fiber)—to understand why fiber is the clear choice for today’s citizens of the internet.
Fiber-optic broadband, which uses glass, offers faster internet speeds over greater distances than its copper-based competitors such as DSL and cable. “Fiber to the Home” (FTTH) internet service providers (ISP) boast gigabit-level speeds up into the 100–1,000 Mbps range—several times faster than the maximum offered by its counterparts. Comparatively, DSL speeds max out at about 45 Mbps, while cable hits top speed at 300 Mbps. While that may sound like more than you’ll ever need, the capacity and speed of cable and DSL fluctuate during times of demand, which can leave you lagging when you have a pressing deadline or virtual meeting to attend.
Simply put, if reliability is important to you, choose fiber. DSL and cable experience significant slowdowns during peak hours and during extreme weather conditions such as drastic temperature changes and flooding. Fiber alone withstands all of these conditions, including the heave usage of peak hours. Keep in mind that unplanned downtime adds a serious cost to both your productivity and bottom line.
Don’t make the mistake of underestimating your internet usage. The reality of technology advancements is that most of us are now high-capacity users. How many desktops, laptops, tablets, phones, and gaming systems are competing for bandwidth in your home? Do you stream Netflix or Hulu or videos on YouTube? Do you play video games or games on your phone? Do you have a security system or a video doorbell monitor that requires internet connection to function? What about a home assistant device? Even smart appliances like washers, dryers, and refrigerators usually need an internet connection. As we get more connected, a lightning-fast internet connection becomes increasingly important.
Ready to make the switch to fiber? Contact Northern Lights Fiber today at 888-CFO-2947 today! Or order online now!
The future of the internet is sharing―from capturing Instagram-worthy meals to enjoying video chats with friends―and PRTC’s unmatched upload speeds make that future a reality.
Here are a just few ways PRTC’s fast, reliable upload speeds make your life easier:
Video chat and live sharing
Skype, FaceTime, and other video messaging services all require robust upstream connections to ensure clear audiovisual quality and to prevent freezing and blackouts. Sharing big news on Facebook or Instagram Live also works better with greater upload speed.
Working or going to school from home
You need a robust upstream connection to interact with colleagues during video conferences, collaborate on team projects, and share important files. Online studies also can tax your upstream connection, especially if you join a virtual classroom or share large portfolios.
Keeping family, friends, and followers in the loop
Upload new videos to YouTube or share photographs with Flickr faster with a better upstream connection.
Faster data backups and online file synching
If you back up your data with a service like Backblaze or Carbonite, you need upload speed that meets basic requirements to ensure your data is protected quickly and without glitches. File and photo synching services like Dropbox, Google Photos, and Microsoft OneDrive all require a minimum of 5 Mbps upload speed to operate properly, and the more upload capacity available, the faster these services can sync and share files.
Online gaming, remote security and much more…
From online gaming to connected security systems that send real-time images through an internet connection, a fast upload connection is key to ensuring all your interactive online activities function well.
Testing the speed of your internet connection is easy, but it’s also easy to misunderstand the results. Your devices — TVs, routers, smartphones, laptops, desktops, etc. — have different capabilities, and you can get different results on each one, even while using the same internet connection.
This is particularly noticeable to users taking advantage of higher speed packages offered by Northern Lights Fiber (Powered by Canadian Fiber Optics)
Here are a few things to keep in mind when evaluating your speed test results:
HARD-WIRED VS. WIRELESS
That old-school cord-and-plug is simply more reliable than WiFi (wireless) connectivity. Even those super-fast 1 Gbps connections, now widely available across the country, won’t test out at higher than 500 to 700 Mbps when tested over WiFi. For the most accurate speed test result you must test with a hard-wired device.
Why? Because there are nearly endless variables that can negatively affect a WiFi signal, everything from nearby construction or the wireless printer in the home office to a baby monitor or microwave in use in the home.
Keep in mind that one limitation with a hard-wired connection is testing with a device that has a 100 Mbps NIC (Network Interface Card). This can cause you to consistently receive speed test results at 90-98 Mbps. Northern Lights Fiber recommends testing on a device that has a 1 Gbps NIC.
POSSIBLE PROBLEMS AFFECTING SPEED AND SPEED TESTS
Slow internet speeds are sometimes caused by malware such as adware and viruses. There are several free and inexpensive programs and apps to deal with that, and they’re important to use for many reasons.
This also sounds obvious, but it’s very easy to overlook any ongoing downloads or programs like video chat that may be turned on while you’re conducting a speed test on your device. Close these applications, reboot your device, and test again.
Even the browser you use — Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Microsoft’s new Edge, etc. — can affect your test speed. Try different browsers to see if that’s the case on your system.
If you have a WiFi extender, make sure you turn it off before you run a speed test. Otherwise, your computer may test the wrong connection.
This brings us to a final point about equipment. Technology advances constantly, and many older routers and computers simply cannot take full advantage of the blazing speed and bandwidth of today’s fiber broadband connectivity.
When you’re ready to upgrade your technology, make sure your new equipment has the network cards and internal processing power that can leverage the speed of market-leading fiber broadband like that from Northern Lights Fiber (Powered by Canadian Fiber Optics).